With the NFC East championship potentially on the line, the Dallas Cowboys lost
The NFC East playoff ticket was on the line between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants in their Week 17 battle on Sunday. The winner would hope for the Washington Football Team to lose, while the loser would walk away with a high draft pick. Two teams expected to be out of the race had a fighting chance.
After running back Wayne Gallman dropped a hand-off, cornerback Chidobe Awuzie jumped on the loose ball. That was the 11th turnover Dallas forced in the last four games, which is the most in the NFL.
The Cowboys’ offensive line has a ton of injuries, and it showed. They gave up 3.0 sacks in the first half. The Giants had 3.0+ sacks in only five games this season, and they got that many in only one half against Dallas. They would finish the game with 6.0 sacks, their most in a game this season.
Early in the game, nothing was going well for Dallas, and a lot was going well for New York. Come the second half, the tables turned.
The Giants picked up only two first downs in the third quarter, while the Cowboys had those issues in the first quarter.
Dallas’ offense did not play well this game. They were unable to score a touchdown until the third quarter. Dallas scoring a touchdown and a field goal in the third quarter made it a one-point game heading into the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Andy Dalton had his hand stepped on during a slide in the third quarter. That forced him to put on a glove on his left hand and play the rest of the game using only his right hand. You could even see the blood go through his glove.
Wide receiver Dante Pettis appeared to drop a pass that led to a field goal. Head coach Mike McCarthy opted not to challenge the play, giving the Giants a four-point lead.
With a minute and a half left in the game, Dalton threw an interception in the endzone. The quarterback was forced to try scoring a touchdown after being down by four points.
While running the clock out, Gallman fumbled the ball, but after review, the Giants kept possession. That sealed the loss and a high draft pick for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys finished the regular season with a record of 6-10 and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season. It is the first time since 2011 that Dallas missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.